Friends of Inti Wara Yassi (FIWY) is the UK branch of the Inti Wara Yassi Community and a charity registered in England and Wales (look us up on the Charities Commission website). Founded in 2008, FIWY supports CIWY's work by: providing administrative support to the organization, managing international fundraising (applying for grants, organizing events, creating on-line campaigns), raising international awareness of CIWY's work and establishing partnerships with other organizations.
FIWY are always on the lookout for new members and supporters. Membership is a great way to stay involved with Inti Wara Yassi's work. To find out more about becoming a 'Friend of Inti Wara Yassi' (a FIWY member), visit our membership page.
There are many ways to get involved with FIWY: by donating time or funds, or simply by spreading the word about our work. If you would like to find out more about how to get involved, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out the get involved section of this website.
FIWY has been a great help to CIWY over the years. Some of our most notable achievements are:
• Having donated over £99,000 to CIWY since 2008. Including significant donations towards the purchase of land, the construction of a clinic and quarantine area for Parque Jacj Cuisi and construction materials for animal enclosures.
• Having secured over £24,000 in grants for CIWY since December 2010.
• Providing information and support to hundreds of volunteers via the internet and email, thereby raising international awareness.
• The on-going updating and management of the CIWY website.
• The creation of a PayPal sponsorship facility.
• The creation and management of online fundraising campaigns via the charity website, Facebook, eBay and BT MyDonate.
• In October 2010, celebrating "Once in a Lifetime", a large-scale event in London for CIWY. The event brought together past volunteers, together with CIWY's President, Nena Baltazar, and raised more than £900.
If you have an idea for a fundraiser or you would like to help organize an event, please email FIWY at email@example.com.
FIWY’s Latest News
Take a look at the CIWY News page for all the latest from FIWY and CIWY.
"I first visited the parks of CIWY back in 2002, when Quest Overseas - the volunteer organisation I work for - was looking for new projects to work with in South America. Since then I have been fortunate enough to visit them a few times every year and every visit is an inspiring, mind blowing and often bizarre experience. Whether it was hitching on the back of a lorry in search for a new park location, transporting an alligator or an ocelot on a public bus, or appearing on national television as Jane Goodall's translator, working with CIWY has always been memorable to say the least!
More importantly though, the Bolivians which have dedicated their entire lives to this incredible project are the main reason I am proud to be involved with CIWY. To see their dedication, drive and unwavering principles, and the difference this has made to the children the project supports, the tens of thousands of volunteers which have passed through the parks throughout the years, and of course the animals which would otherwise have not had a chance of survival or the quality of life which the project provides them, is both inspiring and humbling. I believe CIWY brings out the best in people, and to have a part in supporting such a community is something I am extremely proud of."
"I first started volunteering at Ambue Ari in 2007 and fell in love with the jungle, the animals and the people. I stayed much longer than I anticipated, then returned the next year, and the next, and the next...! What strikes me most every time I go back is how CIWY really do try their best to give every animal as happy a home as possible. I was lucky enough to work with ocelots, birds, monkeys and jaguars, and have spent almost two years with a puma called Wayra.
Since moving back to England, I worked for FIWY as administrator, creating teaching resources for classes interested in CIWY’s story. I love the way young Bolivians live and work in the parks, and would like to find new ways to support them. I am now the director of a charity that works to raise awareness for conservation projects such as CIWY through the arts. It is a great pleasure to be a trustee of FIWY, and I hope to be involved with the organisation as long as I can."
"I turned up in 2002 after travelling round Bolivia looking for something developmental to do. When I turned up it felt like a hippy commune. I spent a fortnight looking after Bilbo and the Mirador and was hooked. I spent a year there mostly failing to get funding, but also regularly helping out at the refuge. Then I came home: re-built the website, tried various things like PayPal, AdWords etc., did lessons in schools here where children wrote to Bolivian children and answered volunteer emails. Time became difficult so I handed over the emails, then became a trustee."
"My first experience with Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi came as a volunteer in 2003. Since then I returned numerous times, not only as a volunteer but also as a leader for Quest Overseas, bringing numerous groups of enthusiastic young people to experience the unique way of life at the parks.
Subsequent to this, I spent two years working as CIWY's first 'Administrator': getting the accounts to a sufficient level to help FIWY gain it's charitable status, assisting Nena in problem solving, overcoming the hurdles that are sent to try us, and even getting the opportunity to work with the occasional animal or two along the way!
I am passionate about CIWY's work, the good they create and the difference that they make in the world and it fills me with great pride and excitement to be associated with FIWY. As an organisation we have a great responsibility to help wherever we can, and I endeavour to bring this to my work with FIWY. Since becoming the Chairman in 2012 I have been privileged to be involved with a group of people who are equally passionate about supporting the parks from afar and I am excited to see what the future holds."
"I'm a half Welsh, half Pakistani graphic designer living and working in London. I visited Parque Machía in 2011 and although my time there was brief, it was one of the most awe inspiring moments of my life. I was fortunate to work with the monkeys - mostly capuchins but also a couple of spider monkeys.
I have over 10 years experience in graphic design and advertising. I've worked for massive brands such as Wild Aid, Nokia, Gucci and many more. I currently work for the one of the largest and most prolific design agencies in the world: Grey."
"I first volunteered at Parque Machia in April to May 2003. I looked after Rico, one of the Ocelot's for a month and was so inspired by the organisation and its work that I felt compelled to stay involved. On my return to the UK I got in touch with other ex-volunteers and became involved in helping to organise fund raising events, and managing the funds for the organisation. My role grew and I am now treasurer for the charity. As a direct result of my involvement with IWY, I ended up moving job sector two years ago and now work for another international charity where I also manage their programme finances."
Helen realizó el voluntariado en el Parque Machía desde abril hasta mayo de 2003. Las palabras de Helen: “Me inspiraron tanto la organización y su trabajo que quería seguir involucrada.”
"I first visited Ambue Ari in 2007. I'd heard about it from a fellow traveller and initially planned to spend just 2 weeks volunteering there. Soon after arriving I fell head over heels in love with the place, the animals and people. My first 2 weeks went by in a flash and I couldn't bring myself to leave, so I extended my time there by another three and a half months. Since my first visit I have been going back every year, trying to spend as much time as possible at the parks: working with many different animals, contributing to numerous construction projects and taking on other responsibilities such as volunteer coordination. It truly is a special place, one that will stay in my heart forever.
I returned to the UK at the beginning of 2012, unsure for the first time when I'd be back in Bolivia, so I was very keen to stay involved however I could. Luckily they were looking for someone to work on fundraising one day per week, so I snapped up the opportunity. Since September 2013, I have been working part-time as FIWY's Administrator and Fundraiser. FIWY has come a long way in the six years since it was founded and I'm very excited to be part of its future development."
Friends of Inti Wara Yassi (FIWY) is our sister organization in the UK. They have been a major source of support since their founding in 2008. Find out more about FIWY here.
Quest Overseas organizes gap year trips for British and international students. Since 2001, Quest has worked with CIWY to bring much needed volunteers and funds. If you are interested in the programs they have with us, find out more here.